A famosa lei de Benford: o dígito significante em física estatística

quinta-feira, julho 29, 2010

The significant digit law in statistical physics

Lijing Shao, Bo-Qiang Ma

School of Physics and State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology,
Peking University, Beijing 100871, China


The occurrence of the nonzero leftmost digit, i.e., 1, 2, ..., 9, of numbers from many real world sources is not uniformly distributed as one might naively expect, but instead, the nature favors smaller ones according to a logarithmic distribution, named Benford’s law. We investigate three kinds of widely used physical statistics, i.e., the Boltzmann-Gibbs (BG) distribution, the Fermi-Dirac (FD) distribution, and the Bose-Einstein (BE) distribution, and find that the BG and FD distributions both fluctuate slightly in a periodic manner around the Benford distribution with respect to the temperature of the system, while the BE distribution conforms to it exactly whatever the temperature is. Thus the Benford’s law seems to present a general pattern for physical statistics and might be even more fundamental and profound in nature. Furthermore, various elegant properties of Benford’s law, especially the mantissa distribution of data sets, are discussed.
Keywords: First digit law, Statistical physics, Mantissa distribution
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